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What Are Your "Hip" Halloween Tips and Tricks?!

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HOT! Getting Toasty! Lukewarm Starting To Melt Ice Ice Baby
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Ohhh… I am so excited that my favorite time of the year is fast approaching! I absolutely love fall…I love the cool, crisp air; love how the trees change colors; love the scent of pumpkin pie etc. I also love that one of my favorite holidays, Halloween, is almost here. Although I would like to make creative and budget-friendly costumes for each of my kiddos, I am often at a loss as to where to start. So this is where you come in! If you have successfully made a Halloween costume in the past, please share your ideas, tips and tricks with all of us. If you are a fan of purchasing costumes, where is your favorite place to shop?

Plus, check out the awesome creation pictured above that reader, Lars, put together for her kiddos…

My son is three and in love with Thomas the Train so of course he wanted to be that for Halloween. I didn’t see any costumes that I liked, so decided to make something myself. ย I think it turned out pretty good! I borrowed the wagon from a friend, got the boxes from another friend who had moved, used a 5 gallon bucket we had from our food storage and covered it in cereal boxes that I painted. ย I got the paint and electrical tape from Lowes using my $10 off $10 email coupon. ย I also bought a conductor hat (not pictured). ย Total cost: less than $8! Pretty cheap for two costumes and they love it of course!

On a side note, I’m also always looking for creative Halloween treats and snacks too! If you have favorite Halloween recipes, please share them in the comments!

Join The Discussion

Comments 41

  1. Leanne

    Don’t know if it is “hip” or not, but try to make a nice comment to each every kid about their costume, makes them feel good ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Julie


  3. Marissa

    When I was younger, my mom wanted me to go trick-or-treating with my older brother, so she made us costumes that we could wear as a pair. One year we dressed up as playing cards. She used four white poster boards, cut out black and red letters/numbers/symbols from construction paper, and used duct tape to put over our shoulders. We had one poster board on our front side and one on our back. Then another year were were a pair of dice. She covered two square boxes with white paper (or you can paint them), and used black construction paper to make the dots. She cut arm and neck holes.. I loved that costume. These are super super cheap ideas, and kids usually wear something different every year anyway, right?

  4. Rosalia

    I love this costume. Great idea Lars.

  5. Mark

    When I was a young kid, there wasn’t much money in those days, so all the parents in the neighborhood, would take turns every year, and rather than have the kids go trick or treating in the neighborhood, all the parents would bring their candy to the one house where the kids party was, and rather than “bob for apples”, we would bob for plastic bags that had the name of a child in the neighborhood who didn’t have anything, and this child became our “new best friend” who we would do things with and for till the end of the year, but always lasted longer than that. Rather than getting bad teeth or fat from all the sweets, we got an education about others than lasts much longer than all out trick or treating ever could.

    • linda

      I think I love your parents.

    • Suzanne H

      That’s about the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard of esp. now when it seems like all you hear about is kids bullying each other!

  6. Emilytwinmom

    My mom and I love going to the local Goodwill shops and searching the tablecloths, fabrics, and shower curtains in the hopes an idea will spark! This year I’m going to be Tim Burton’s Red Queen, making the dress out of fabrics we found at Goodwills! I even found a crinelin at Goodwill LOL!

  7. Tarri


  8. KarenK

    My favorite costume I made my daughter was the Little Black Rain Cloud, from Winnie the Pooh. She wore a black full-length leotard she already had – you could use black sweats or leggings and long sleeve t-shirt or turtleneck – with tights and a tank underneath for extra warmth.
    I cut out a piece of cardboard in the shape of a cloud, approx. 2′ wide, cut 2 small holes on the top of the shape, about 6″ apart, covered it in glue and cotton balls and sprayed back paint lightly over the cloud. I took a length of black ribbon, long enough to go around the back of her neck, threading the ends through the holes and tying them off in knots.
    I then used silver fabric paint to make raindrops on her leo starting from the bottom of the cloud and going all the way down her legs. (She took off the leo before I painted!) Try putting a strip of wax paper inside the legs when you paint so it doesn’t seep through and glue the front and back of the material together.
    Make the outfit a few days before Halloween in order for the glue and paint to dry.
    I wish I could find a pic of her in it, but it is buried somewhere. She looked so cute, the local news wanted to show her on TV but she was too bashful.
    It was very inexpensive and easy – I’m not exactly Martha Stewart! :~}
    I’d love to see pictures if someone tries this.

    • makaylaisabel

      That’s sounds too cute. I might google something similar to see if I get a pic. October is ot a frugal month for us. To be honest, I am a mess. I am out of touch with the family (out of town), my grocery coupons expire beofre I get to them (uh); but you can’t have it all. I love October for many reasons more than Halloween; oh but dressing up is so much fun. We each get a new individual costumes (the girl’s as a reward and us for a couple party). We also go to goodwill for a second set for the girls and try to use last years and add something new. Between all of those we also mismatch (or make as crafts) for a family theme, school activities. etc. Too many activities and I love pictures so I like the different costumes. I use coupons to buy the new ones or I get them from amazon trying to use some swagbucks for a discount. The only thing else I can think of is swapping with mom’s. We’ll see how inventive we can get for next year.

  9. Janette

    As our fall tradition we usually go to several different pumpkin patches and of course pick up several pumpkins. Well a couple days before halloween I cut down, cook and puree one of those pumpkins and make pumpkin soup for our extended family that comes over to join in the halloween festivities. Its a crowd pleaser and an inexpensive way to make a large amount of food for everybody and I love to eat anything with pumpkin. ๐Ÿ™‚ If I have time I will also make some easy pumpkin muffins (with some of the same pumpkin puree) usually the morning of. I make them on the healthy side and the kids usually like to eat those before they go out and then I feel like they didn’t just eat a bunch of candy all night.

  10. Sas

    Halloween worms, I found this recipe a few years ago and they are such a hit …most adults think they are gross but the kids love them ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think they taste good lol

    1 (6 ounce) package raspberry gelatin powder or 1 (6 ounce) package grape flavor gelatin
    3 (1/4 ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin
    3 cups boiling water
    100 flexible plastic straws
    1 tall slender 4 cup container (same height as extended straws)
    3/4 cup whipping cream
    12 -15 drops green food coloring

    In a bowl, combine gelatins.

    Add boiling water; stir until gelatins completely dissolve. Chill until lukewarm, about 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, gently pull straws to extend to full length; place in tall container, flexi side down.

    Blend cream and food coloring with the lukewarm gelatin mixture. Pour into container, filling straws.

    Chill until gelatin is firm, at least 8 hours, or cover and chill up to 2 days.

    Pull straws from container (if using a carton, tear carton away from straws). Pull straws apart; run hot tap water for about 2 seconds over 3 to 4 straws at a time. Starting at the empty ends, push worms from straws with rolling pin, or use your fingers; lay worms on waxed paper-lined baking sheets.

    Cover and chill until ready to use, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

    Worms will hold at room temperature up to 2 hours.

  11. Pinky

    My porch is usually pretty bare but this year thanks too those Home Depot coupons it is very pretty. The zombie games was weird and laborious but I got a small straw barrel, bag of small pumpkins, large regular pumpkin, large heirloom pumpkin (super pretty color sorta tan) and two packs of those stick in reusable face decorations. Paid about 6 dollars for all of it after the 15 dollar, 10 dollar and 5 dollar coupon.

    • Pinky

      Oh and a pot of mums.

      • couponsforc

        awesome deals! Sounds pretty

  12. kelsey

    last year I saw a little kiddo come to my door with a ambercrombie and fitch bag on!:)

    • Jennifer

      Hahaha! Did he have the “abercrombie abs”?

      • bridget

        That’s funny! I love when I see men carrying those bags with the male models on then. So funny.

  13. Jenn

    We have a Halloween tradition of making little Halloween shaped pizzas before going out trick or treating. My son picks out cookie cutters in the shape of something ghoulish. This year he found a zombie cookie cutter, so we will be having zombies.

    Anyway, I make the dough (you could use store bought pizza dough too). One year we even used english muffins. Then we cut out the shapes. I try to add the toppings in a way that kinda goes with the shape. Zombies will be a little hard. Last year we had pumpkin ones. I cut peppers into little triangles and we arranged them into faces.

  14. Tracey

    Last year, I made some really cute pumpkin rice krispie treats. The recipe is right on the rice krispes website: You make a traditional batch of rice krispie treats and add a few drops of orange food coloring. Then roll the mixture into balls to form the pumpkins. Using green icing and gumdrops, make a stem and leaf at the top. We had to omit the candy bar surprise inside because of peanut allergies. They turned out cute & the kids loved them…plus they were really easy for me to make!

    • Amber

      I just made these this weekend, except I used pumpkin spice marshmallows. They turned out really yummy!!

  15. Trish @ Mom On Timeout

    We love making fun Halloween treats too! Here are my Witch Treats {green apple, ice cream cone and candy!}:

    Black Widow Spider Bites:

    Caramel Apple Sticky Buns:

    Candy Corn Star Burst:

    Pom Pom Pumpkins are TONS of fun to make with the kids!

  16. kim

    I made our costumes this year. I went to Joann Fabrics when they had 50% off red sale fabrics. I also used my 15% off discount. I bought enough fabric for 5 costumes (wilma, pebbles, bambam, barney, & betty) plus had extra, fabric to make 6 or more vests, fabric for nude bodysuits for under the costumes, & a 11×14″ picture frame for under $35.

    • Shayla

      cute, might have to remember this one as we joke that my daughter is pebbles and her cousin is BAM BAM (that is even his nickname). I did the same thing about using 50% off coupons for fabric at Joann’s (been buying stuff since end of August when the good coupons became available). My kiddos are woody and Jessie (from ToyStory) and our dog is Bullseye. Only had to buy their cowboy hats ($1.99/each), cow print fabric (less than $3), brown stretch band for their belts ($1.99), and a 5-pk of Sheriff badges at the Dollar store (which I used one as the badge, 2 others as the belt buckles). Thankfully, I could use navy pants they already had and white/yellow shirts they already had. My dog is using the sandal off our rocking horse that we got as a Christmas present. All and all, have 3 parties this year plus Trick-or-Treat night so will definitely get $ worth out of it =)

  17. joAnn

    Mummy dogs–hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll dough “bandages.” I cut them with a pizza cutter, makes it easier. It wouldn’t be Halloween without them! I love the playing card idea–we’re a family of four. Cute!

  18. couponsforc

    Wow that is great painting! I love that idea ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Niki

    We have four kids and I like them to do group costumes. Two years ago, they were the Wizard of Oz and last year they were Hey Diddle, Diddle. I basically seek out the costumes that I can find at a reasonable price, like we got Dorothy for around $9.99 and borrowed a random scarecrow costume. Then I made my older kids a lion costume and a tin man costume with sweatsuits, fur and a lion ear, nose and tail kit from the party store. Oh and I actually spray painted a oil funnel for my son since we couldn’t find tin, only red plastic. The costumes worked out amazingly and didn’t cost much at all. The kids aren’t usually excited about dressing in a theme, but they LOVE all of the attention they get when people have already seen 45 fairy princesses and spidermans!

    • makaylaisabel

      Love your gravatar picture. We have those from last year and I have a baby boy now so Im going to try to do the head piece for the tin man.

    • Jill

      That’s a very cute idea! We are also a family of 4 kids and my daughter is already planning to be Glenda the Good Witch (but everyone mistakes as a princess ;-( ) If I could get her brothers to join it, that would be fun!

  20. Brandy

    I always like to shop the after halloween sales, pick up a couple costumes in a size up and then let them choose the next year which one they want to be. So far not bad and you can get costumes for around $2-$3 after halloween.

    • Shayla

      I used to do that but several of the stores (ie: CVS) would not sell their costumes after Halloween was over last year. Guess online and in consignment shops you can get really good deals =)

  21. Erin

    I just made my son a spongebob costume out of a cardboard box and some yellow paint. He’s thrilled with it and it cost me nothing!

  22. tracy

    you can always look online for ideas,typing in cheap and easy Halloween costumes, you’ll probably get tons of results

  23. Shayla

    For the CVS “party”, my daughter wanted to be a princess. Of course we have princess stuff but ironically when I went to the closet, I remembered that someone had shared their frog costume so my son was the frog. It was too cute how it came together =)

  24. Makayla

    I love boxes and grocery paper bags. ๐Ÿ˜€ These come in handy for school projects throughout the year and especially halloween. My hubby brings boxes from work all the time. This year we made the three little pigs houses and used masks from amazon for the halloween costume contest at the local zoo and places third. We also made a lego costume to use at Legoland (and used the Lowes ocupon to buy an item for the head and spray paint). We did not place but it was a fun contest. Now that I have three kiddos, Halloween will never be the same again. I’m in for a treat until they outgrow the fun stuff. lol

    • makaylaisabel

      (FYI: Apparently, if you are entering a contest, the cuteness factor goes over any contest rules, etc. I thought there was a girl who should’ve won and our 5 year old with her lego costume should’ve at least placed (regardless of bit mishaps in construction)… however three toddlers dressed with bought costumes of cops and robbers won best of the best. What that had to do with Legos and creativity, I have yet to put my head around. On the other hand our pig’s costumes where just boxes and poorly made and we placed. Again, next year we are doing the family theme and using the baby as a prop. lol)

  25. Heidi

    I have 4 kids and love to think up homemade costumes. I like to look around and use what they already have. Like their bathrobes:
    Boys can be boxers with a “black eye” and shorts.
    Girls can be spa girls with a towel for a head wrap, cold cream on their face, flip flops and toenail polish.
    One year my daughter was a SAHM with her bathrobe, a babydoll pinned on her in burping position, messy hair, slippers and a coffee mug.

    • Laura

      Love the SAHM idea. Super cute.

  26. Michelle

    My 2 girls (2 and 4) are going to be ladybugs for less than $6 ea. I ordered from Halo Heaven when they had pettiskirts 1/2 off and got them each a red white and black polka dot petti skirt and red and black wings. They wi8ll wear black leggings and turtlenecks that they already have, I still have to make antennaes though, I was thinking black headbands they already have and some kind of pipe cleaner and cotton ball or something.

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